Gerson Fuentes, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala accused of raping a 10-year-old Ohio girl who traveled Indiana for an abortion, was ordered held without bond on Thursday.
The 27-year-old faces two counts of raping the girl, who turned 10 before having the abortion. He has pleaded not guilty.
Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch cited that evidence, the violence of the crime and the fact that Fuentes had been living in the same home with the girl and her mother while in the country illegally.
“To allow him to return to that home, the traumatic and psychological impact would be undeserving to an alleged victim,” Lynch said.
She also cited the “physical, and mental and emotional trauma” the girl suffered from enduring the rapes and the abortion, and finding her case at the center of the country’s abortion debate.
The girl confirmed that Fuentes attacked her, Fuentes confessed to Columbus police detectives, and DNA testing of the aborted fetus confirmed Fuentes was the father, Franklin County Prosecutor Dan Meyer and Detective Jeffrey Huhn said in court Thursday.
Huhn said he was unable when searching multiple databases, to find any evidence that Fuentes was in the country legally.
If convicted, Fuentes faces the possibility of life in prison with no chance of parole.
The case gained national attention after an Indianapolis physician, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, said the child had to travel to Indiana due to Ohio banning abortions at the first detectable “fetal heartbeat” after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
The story was eventually echoed by President Biden in a speech earlier this month in announcing measures to protect abortion access in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade.
“Ten years old. Raped, six weeks pregnant. Already traumatized. Was forced to travel to another state. Imagine being that little girl,” Biden said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.